Violin Rosin

Violin Rosin, violin bow, violin lessons
Light Vio­lin Rosin

Buying a Violin Rosin

Vio­lin Rosin is one of the essen­tial items to use in order to pro­duce sound with the bow. When you buy a new bow and try to play with it you will soon real­ize that the hair of the bow is slight­ing on the strings with­out yet pro­duc­ing (if any at all) the expect­ed sound. The rea­son is that the bow has no rosin applied on it. So the main func­tion on rosin is to make the bow-hair stick bet­ter on the strings.

Vio­lin rosin is a hard­ened tree sap that you apply to your vio­lin bow before every oth­er prac­tice in order to give it the nec­es­sary grip when draw­ing the bow across the strings on your vio­lin. With­out it, the bow sim­ply slides across the string with­out grab­bing it, pro­duc­ing very lit­tle sound.

You can find rosins in var­i­ous col­ors and shapes. Vio­lin­ists are using dark­er or lighter rosins depend­ing on the environmental/climate con­di­tions and their per­son­al pref­er­ences. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing lighter rosin help to cre­ate a smoother and soft­er sound while the dark rosins (hard­er and stick­i­er) tend to make the sound big­ger and sharp).

Some things to consider before buying a rosin

Climate conditions

In gen­er­al humid­i­ty makes the rosin stick­i­er than usu­al so it is prefer­able to use lighter rosins to smoother your sound and the oppo­site for dry cli­mates. Extreme­ly humid con­di­tions how­ev­er (like hav­ing to play in open air next to the see in Cyprus for exam­ple:) ) may wash out the rosin from the bow. In that case it is rec­om­mend­ed to use reg­u­lar­ly the dark rosin

Dust tolerance

Over time as you play, rosin dust accu­mu­lates on your vio­lin that you will peri­od­i­cal­ly need to wipe away with a soft cloth (there are spe­cial vio­lin pol­ish­ing cloths you can get specif­i­cal­ly for this purpose).Darker vio­lin rosin tends to pro­duce more dust (i.e. you must clean your vio­lin more fre­quent­ly) than light rosins, while light rosins can take more time to wipe away when clean­ing your vio­lin.  The dif­fer­ence is sub­tle, but if you are sen­si­tive to dust you may want to select a lighter rosin to cut down on the amount of dust in the air.In gen­er­al good qual­i­ty rosins pro­duce less dust than oth­ers.


For peo­ple that aller­gic to vio­lin rosin there are some spe­cial hypoal­ler­gic rosins  that reduce the dis­com­fort that the dust of the rosin caus­es.

Packaging (shape)

Rosins are com­ing in dif­fer­ent pack­age — shapes. Always note you need to con­sid­er this fac­tor with care as the shape of the rosin will affect the way you will apply the rosin on the bow, the extent you will make use of it and the endurance. Chil­dren (begin­ner vio­lin­ists) are usu­al­ly giv­en rosins with a square or rec­tan­gle shape with the sides being pro­tect­ed with wood and plas­tic. The rea­son is to facil­i­tate the use of it (as the chil­dren are not yet coor­di­nat­ed enough to keep the bow on the rosin while pulling it along the bow)  and to pro­tect it as rosin is extreme­ly frag­ile. How­ev­er, unless you have coor­di­na­tion issues, I strong­ly rec­om­mend against this type of pack­ag­ing, opt­ing instead for a round or square shape.

The round rosins are in gen­er­al eas­i­er in use more eco­nom­i­cal as you can make use of all the avail­able rosin by turn­ing in cycli­cal motion while apply­ing it on the bow.

Fur­ther­more, I rec­om­mend get­ting rosin in robust pack­ag­ing that can with­stand shocks of trav­el­ing in your vio­lin case, as it will be less like­ly to frac­ture pre­ma­ture­ly, and will there­fore last longer.

Here you can find a big vari­ety of rosins.


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